In 1992 our family moved from southern California to Roswell, a community north of Atlanta, Georgia. Roswell was not our final destination; we were on our way to start a ministry, Mustard Seeds and Mountains, in West Virginia. Our “stopover” in Roswell turned into a three year hiatus in which we joined mission staff at Fellowship Bible Church, started several local ministry outreaches and raised our missionary support to move to West Virginia full time.
We considered FBC our “home church” for all the years we lived in West Virginia. As missionaries with FBC we still receive their Serve (missions) Newsletter. This month featured an article by Corinne Simpson, Children’s Ministries Director at Fellowship Bible Church. I felt she had a powerful challenge for me, and for us all, so I wanted to share her article with you. Below is an introduction by FBC mission/outreach staff and then Corinne’s article.
“If you like your life just as it is and don’t really want your assumptions challenged, stay away from the fringes of downtown Atlanta and don’t get too far away from the boat if you go on a cruise. And most certainly don’t do go to a place like Bangalore, India. You just might see the world as God sees it. And you might be changed in ways you didn’t expect. It happened to one of our own at Fellowship.”
Corinne Simpson, Children’s Ministries Director at Fellowship Bible Church
“When I boarded the plane to visit mission partners in south Asia, I didn’t foresee how God would use this trip to change me.
Our drive from the airport to their home was our first memorable experience in their country – lanes mean nothing! Stepping out of the familiar—new tastes and smells, poverty, kind and gentle people, the cost and joy of obedience— is hard to forget. We worshipped, played, had sweet connections with their team, heard stories and got a glimpse of what God is doing in the nations!
Here are a few of my learnings:
*Prayer – steadfast prayer – is needed for our “heroes of the faith” as they live their calling. Pray for the nations and for the persecuted church. We stayed a few days in a guest house where nine of the people who stayed there in 2014 were martyred as they went back into their countries.
*Loving people includes knowing them and serving them. I asked a lady who had been there fifteen years why she stayed … “I love the people.” A personal conviction for me back at home translates to prayer-walking my neighborhood and reaching out and serving my neighbors – and then sharing the gospel. Lord, help me to love people.
*The cost of discipleship and obedience is sometimes hard. Suffering seems to be part of the deal. Will I embrace that as normal?
Back in Atlanta, last week in church we sang “Hosanna” by Hillsong. Worshipping together with my church family, we sang: ‘break my heart for what breaks yours, everything I am for the kingdom cause’… ‘I see a generation rising up to take their place with selfless faith’… ‘I see a near revival stirring as we pray and seek, we’re on our knees’… ‘Heal my heart and make it clean, open up my eyes to the things unseen … Show me how to love like you’ve loved me.’
‘Lord, it is a privilege to glimpse what it looks like (here and there) to give our life for a worthy cause. Keep us faithful. Help me (us) to not be lured into less important endeavors. Time is short. You are worthy.’
May we press onward in step with Him and live our calling to be disciples who make disciples!”
Article and photo used with the permission of Fellowship Bible Church ( http://fellowshiproswell.org/ ) and Corinne Simpson. Thank you, friends!